Israel Adesanya Wants to Seek Revenge After UFC 276 in July

Israel Adesanya

Getty Israel Adesanya

UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya would relish the chance of earning revenge over Alex Pereira.

“The Last Stylebender” recently took part in a UFC press conference alongside reigning UFC featherweight king Alexander Volkanovski and top-ranked flyweight Kai Kara-France. And during it, Adesanya spoke about his former two-time kickboxing foe.

Adesanya and Pereira met twice in the Glory of Heroes kickboxing promotion, and the Brazilian defeated The Last Stylebender both times. Pereira was awarded a unanimous decision in their first bout, which took place in 2016. And a year later, Pereira knocked out Adesanya in the rematch.

Adesanya (22-1 MMA) signed with the UFC in late 2017 and has dominated the middleweight division since. Pereira (5-1 MMA) joined the promotion’s roster in 2021 and has earned two back-to-back victories.

There’s a chance their paths will cross again and The Last Stylebender would welcome the challenge with open arms.

“This isn’t kickboxing, this is mixed martial arts,” Adesanya said via MMA Fighting. “These ain’t big pillow gloves, these are four-ounce deadly weapons that I can’t wait to drive through his face after I go through Jared Cannonier.”

Adesanya and Pereira will both compete at UFC 276 on July 2. The Last Stylebender is the headlining act and will attempt to defend his 185-pound strap for the fifth time by besting Jared Cannonier.

During the main card’s featured bout, Pereira will look to jump the line at middleweight by defeating No. 4-ranked Sean Strickland.

Adesanya Compared Pereira’s Potential Rise to Light Heavyweight Champion Jiri Prochazka’s

Adesanya will be watching Strickland versus Pereira closely and should he take out Cannonier, The Last Stylebender said he’ll be ready to fight the winner. The middleweight champion also compared Pereira’s quick UFC rise to Jiri Prochazka’s.

With only two UFC fights under his belt, Prochazka received a light heavyweight title fight at UFC 275 earlier this month. He is now the division’s champion after catching Glover Teixeira in a rear-naked choke.

“I look forward to either one of those fights,” Adesanya explained. “I don’t like this narrative of, ‘It’s too quick, it’s too quick for Pereira,’ but look, Jiri [Prochazka] just fought for and won the belt in his third fight in the UFC. Anderson [Silva] did it in his second fight. So that’s fine, he’s new to MMA.

“I’ve been in this game a long time and this TikTok generation has a 15-second memory. All they see is a knockout, but they don’t watch the first fight, or the second fight before the finish.”

Adesanya’s Head Coach Thinks Pereira Has ‘Got to Do More Work’ to Earn Title Fight

Even though The Last Stylebender is open to fighting Pereira, his head coach, Eugene Bareman, wants to see Pereira do more work inside the Octagon.

“It would be nice for Strickland to win, because Strickland’s body of work is good enough to fight for a title,” Bareman said to Submission Radio via MMA Junkie. “Whereas if Pereira wins, he’s still got to do more work.”

Compared to Peirea’s, Bareman is more impressed by Strickland’s UFC resume, which includes a six-fight win streak and victories over the likes of Jack Hermansson and Uriah Hall.

“The only reason I say Strickland is (worthy is) because if Strickland wins, that’s got a really clear-cut contender,” the City Kickboxing head coach continued. “Whereas if Pereira wins, it’s like, well, you’ve beaten one guy, you’ve probably gotta beat some more. So, if Strickland wins, there’s a clear-cut fight that we can have eight weeks later hopefully.”

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